Karachi, September 26, 2016: The critically acclaimed Mah-e- Mir, one of the best movies to come out from the resurging Pakistani film industry has been nominated by Pakistan’s Academy Selection Committee as the country’s official submission in the Best Foreign Language Film Award Category for the 89 th Academy Awards. The film Mah-e- Mir was a departure from the usual fare owing to its intellectual content, stellar writing and superb acting coupled with brilliant music and as such was the number one choice of the committee members.

Distributed nationwide by HUM Films and Eveready Group of Companies, Mah-e- Mir is directed by Anjum Shahzad and written by Sarmad Sehbai. The story is set in contemporary times chronicling the life of a young anarchist poet. While denouncing traditions he goes through the sufferings of love, separation and poverty, which drive him to the edge. In all his sufferings, he discovers the 18th century poet Mir Taqi Mir and as the story progresses, he embodies the intense feelings of love, passion and creative madness of the poet. The film stars Fahad Mustafa, Iman Ali, Sanam Saeed, Alyy Khan and Manzar Sehbai in lead roles. The film's brilliant music score was by Shahi Hassan.

Mah-e- Mir was a critical success and appreciated by the public as well, as many people felt that movies like Mah-e- Mir were a welcome change from the usual fare that is coming out from the film industry these days with a throwback to the time when story, acting, dialogue and music would come together to create a masterpiece in which the beauty of the Urdu language is fully exposed.

Commenting on Mah-e- Mir’s selection for submission to the Oscars, director Anjum Shahzad

had this to say: "I am thrilled by the news. For an ensemble of extremely creative cast and crew this film is a labour of love. Each one of us is proud to be a part of it. I would like to thank the committee for considering our effort worthy of representation and would like to take this opportunity to thank the media, cinema owners and above all the audiences for supporting us."

The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee is chaired by two-time Academy Award and Emmy winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and also includes Iram Parveen Bilal as the charge d’affaires, Zeba Bakhtiar, Adnan Siddiqui, Hasan Zaidi, Sheema Kermani, Sarmad Khoosat, Jamshed Mahmood Raza, Jamil Dehlavi and Adnan Sarwar.

Community World Service Asia has taken a stridetowards empowering rural women through enhancing their craft skills and introducing them to the urban markets for them to become stronger economic agents. To further this cause, a brand Taanka has officially been launched in Lahore at the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC)last week. The promotion continues as a two dayCrafts Festival was celebrated in connection with the launch of Taanka at PFDC in Lahore. In collaboration with the Centre for Culture and Development (CKU), the event was organized with an aim of reviving traditional handicrafts while empowering rural women with a sustainable income as well.

The Crafts festival in Karachi this weekend was organized primarily to promote our national arts, crafts, and literature to the public of Karachi through retail stalls, live demonstrations of craft production, cultural performances and talent exhibits, and briefings about Taanka vision.  The wide variety of attractions was showcased to a broad cross-section of the public, to maximize the exposure of the products to as diverse a customer as possible.

A range of products were exhibited, including a special display of high-fashion products alongside more casual apparel to attract a wide customer base, including handicrafts, apparel, jewelry, ceramics and pottery and home décor. The crafts festival also engaged other traditional links through various performances of folk singers including Mai Dhai, Shazia Khushk, Bhit Shah Group and few others. There was storytelling, puppet shows and games for children,making the festival one of its kind and engaging.

A large number of people came to the festival including entrepreneurs, students, media houses, bloggers and other professionals. Platforms like these are increasing the provision of financial resources through the establishment of handicrafts value chain. It is also maximizing the outreach of rural women to urban markets, thus improving their standard of living and increasing the rural economic growth.